Fluctuating Finals

The late start of the school year push finals to second semester


FZW School District

The finals schedule for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

A new law and COVID-19 moved the start day for the school year to Aug. 31, 2020. Students and teachers will be adjusting to these changes with finals being moved to Jan. 12.

Many students are facing challenges with maintaining their knowledge of the subjects that were taught before the break. Upperclassmen are worrying about the outcomes of their finals for their grade point average. Even underclassmen are stressing over this since those students have not had experience with taking finals in high school. The freshmen last year (sophomores now) did not have experience taking finals due to having snow days during finals season the first semester, and in early 2020, COVID-19 closed the school for the second semester.

Not only were finals moved, but second semester classes were moved back as well. Students and staff have both been concerned with this change. Second semester classes were moved to after finals with the start dates of these new classes to be Jan. 16, 2021.

“I am worried about finals being after winter break because I’m afraid I will not be able to recall the information learned pre-break,” junior Lauren Kaplan said.

Teachers no longer have the break to grade finals, and students have to worry about retaining the information taught over the break.

“It’s unfortunate, but everything will still have to be graded on time. Time management is a critical part in teaching,” English Language Arts teacher Natalie Callihan said.

Teachers are still figuring out the details of finals and review times in class. Although studying at home can be hard, it can be helpful. Studying in increments of 20 and 50 minutes at a time and frequently taking small breaks can relieve stress. Minimizing distractions such as TV or loud areas may help the study experience, according to blog.suny.edu. If students choose to study at home, using resources with study tips may help the amount of stress decrease during finals season over time.

“I think that the extra two weeks might give students a better opportunity to prepare and give them a chance to catch up on missed lessons,” Callihan said.

Students may feel overwhelmed with finals being after the break, but students will have extra time to prepare. This change helps to make the semesters balanced with instruction time. With the potential for further changes, persevering is one of the many ways to stay positive during this time.